Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1303, (14 - 20 July 2016)
Tuesday,24 October, 2017
Issue 1303, (14 - 20 July 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Iftar with the president

For the first time in the history of Special Olympics Egypt, a handicapped athlete dined with an Egyptian president, reports Abeer Anwar

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Al-Ahram Weekly

In an unprecedented step, Mariam Tarek, a Special Olympics (SO) Egypt athlete, shared the same table with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi who was invited to attend an iftar (the sunset breaking of the fast in Ramadan) held by SO.

Tarek, winner of a gold and silver medal in the 2014 World Summer Games in swimming, was also chosen to receive Al-Sisi who welcomed her warmly together with Tarek’s parents.

“It is a great honour for the Special Olympics movement to be invited to an iftar table with the president during the holy month of Ramadan,” Ayman Abdel-Wahab, SO Middle East and North Africa president and managing director, said. “It shows how our athletes are on the mind and in the heart of the president who honoured SO MENA by attending the opening ceremony of the eighth MENA Games in 2014.”

Abdel-Wahab added that such a gesture gave a big push to the movement in Egypt “as we are choosing a new board. It also gives hope for all Egyptian families who have children with disabilities that one day their child might be honoured by the president after living in the past as a category of people who were never cared for and were a source of disgrace and shame”.

Minister of Youth and Sports Khaled Abdel-Aziz, who attended the SO iftar, announced that the Council of Ministers had agreed that Egypt bid to host the 2019Special Olympics World Summer Games. “We will be able to make it a success and will attract the eyes of the world to Egypt, the land of security and safety,” Abdel-Aziz said.

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